After four years, it appears the U.S. construction market has bottomed out and is beginning the slow climb out of recession. For many large U.S. design firms, this development is cause for both relief and celebration. But for other design firms, particularly in the public infrastructure markets, uncertainty about the future remains a constant.The signs of the recession's end can be seen in ENR's Top 500 Design Firms list. The Top 500, taken as
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.